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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Apr 7, 2013 9:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen

None of what you said is lost on me.I was referring not to the women who would be willing to date Pigpen,but women like Betty Cantor,Mountain Girl and I would assume some other smart women around the scene and just being alive at that time who would open his eyes a little bit.

Even if it was just his role in the band and wasn't what he was like it kept all those fools in the crowd cheering along to some damaging material and if just one guy went home and punched his girlfriend in the face because that type of behavior was reinforced in his dull mind by Pigpen then that's one too many for some showbiz bravado.Bottom line is that is a lame persona to take on and the rest of the band should be ashamed to have backed that weak shit and at some point called him on it,maybe not 65' or 67' but certainly by Dec 69'.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 7, 2013 11:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen

Mountain Girl said in an interview:
"You couldn't help but love Pigpen. He was loveable and everybody liked him. He sang like an old blues singer - it wasn't so much what he sang, it was how he was singing it. He had a lot of soul. It was sure sad to lose him."

Betty Cantor has never said anything about Pigpen that I know of, but Rosie McGee (Phil's girlfriend) wrote about how he behaved with her at 710 Ashbury: "...a gruff kind of low-key flirting, all in jest, but sometimes accompanied by an ass-grab. I did spend some time alone with Pig in his room, talking with him and listening to him play his guitar and sing softly. In those timeless moments, I learned what a big-hearted softie he really was."
She also writes a lot about Pigpen's girlfriend Veronica, a black lady who sounds like nobody's fool.

Anyway, all the women in that scene who've said anything about Pigpen pretty much say the same things (none of them, by the way, were his girlfriends). Not only did Pigpen win friendship & support from the women around him, the band was not ashamed to back Pigpen's raps and didn't consider them lame; they were impressed by his ability to spin off these tales. Nobody was ever going to call him on his attitude. That's just the historical perspective I wanted to add; you can call it a blindness in the people around him; but we're free to judge Pigpen as we like.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Apr 8, 2013 10:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen

I'm not trying to demonize the guy and I wouldn't doubt he was as portrayed by the comments made about him,I'm simply calling him on what was a small part of his "act" that was unacceptable.Any reasonable person who broke down some of the things he said and the attitude it conveyed would have to find it questionable at best,not the innocuous stuff,the under my thumb,perform your role type of shit.I'm pretty sure we all have a friend or family member who is a bit of a racist,sexist,homophobe or what have you and we still chose to think of them as a loveable guy or an old softie,but that doesn't make those attitudes any more palatable.

I can see the band grooving on his ability to weave a Brooklyn bridge tale or some of the other colorful stories he incorporated into his raps,but at the base of his bluesman pose was an attitude that women were to be treated as a man saw fit and you would hope that wouldn't be acceptable behavior to people you considered intelligent.I would think that it was obvious in this thread I wasn't dictating what people should think about Pigpen,although I surely would be interested in the perspective someone as intelligent as Althearose had on the subject.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Apr 8, 2013 2:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen

I wrote a post early Saturday on this thread, and as I went to post it the Archive went into maintenance - it was lost. Going back to your original thrust, totally agree with loathing the Doors and their thin, simplistic sound. Always hated the organ leads. Their only song that worked well was in movie context, in Apocalypse now. Never understood the deifying of Morrison.

I'm with you about Pigpen, up to a point. Although some "elders" here see him as essential to the band's early development and popularity, I can't find much to like in his strained vocals, pathetic harmonica, and tedious raps. Mr. Charlie and H2H are the best - because the music is so strong. Perhaps his strongest contribution is channeling some of the band's early energy into full-on blues, and helping JG become the guitarist that he was meant to be in the process.

I get that you think his schtick is totally misogynistic - it is - but I think it's the sincerest form of flattery when you idolize blues singers. He wanted to BE Lightnin' Hopkins or Robert Johnson in the moment, in the act of performing. He considered himself following in a long line of blues singers, with the same intent - getting some hooch and scoring with the ladies. Mostly harmless, until you use language as you cited, or drink yourself to death. I always hated his objectifying women by calling them his "rider" - as disposable as a motorcycle, but this term of 'endearment' can be found decades before Pig.

Bottom line - I can give Pig a pass most of the time, since it was a performance and not the man everyone knew in person. But, I can't give a pass to poor musicianship; nor can I tolerate most gangsta rap thuggery, since it also plays out in mayhem on the streets, even though it derives from similar roots.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Apr 8, 2013 4:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen

I'm always pleased when we can be even somewhat on the same wavelength because I have great respect for most everything you post,and unlike some folks you seem to understand what I was getting at.The music stuff is subjective and really who cares,but there is just an overwhelming lack of respect tied into Pig's whole hard drinkin',macho man act,and why he is that way is immaterial.You can explain away almost any type of misbehavior,but that doesn't undo the harm it can cause,kind of like what you were saying about the effect of gangsta rap thuggery.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 8, 2013 12:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen

I was hoping AltheaRose would chime in as well, but she seems to be in one of her non-internet periods.

I suspect the whole band were what might be called 'sexist pigs' by today's standards, and probably any women who knew them accepted that, just like they'd accept massive drinking or drug use. The status of being around a 'rock star' means all kinds of behavior can get swept under the rug. Sexist attitudes would be par for the course - though Pigpen's unique in that he chose to directly rap about it onstage.

I'm surprised you consider Mick Jagger's type of lyrics innocuous compared to Pigpen. Seems like the other way around to me - Jagger's a lot nastier in some songs! If Jagger's just a harmless put-on, Pigpen fits in the same role...at least I'd guess few people take him too seriously. I've seen many complaints about his raps being dull, repetitive, taking away from the music, etc, but almost none about their being offensive.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Apr 8, 2013 1:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen

I didn't mean that under my thumb reference in relation to Jagger,I meant it attitudinal way,it was a very poorly constructed and confusing sentence in hindsight.I couldn't express how little respect I have for Jagger as a person.

It doesn't seem like I clearly expressed what it is about Pigpen I find distasteful,I get the wide view on his view raps in that were playful and not meant in any way to be harmful or mean spirited,and I'm not sitting back analyzing every word and taking him overly seriously,but the undercurrent of what he is preaching comes from an ugly and unwelcome past.

I personally am not willing to give the guys a pass for being sexist douche bags because they were rock stars or products of their times,they seemed to have figured out that racism wasn't proper behavior and that was certainly prevalent in the same timespan and I'm pretty sure there was a women's movement pushing an agenda that the way they were being treated was unacceptable and shameful that the boys might have caught wind of.Again this was the late 60's-early 70's not 1962.It's sort of like now where it's still kind of okay to shit on women,gay and Jewish people to a certain extent,but not being any of those there are more credible people to speak to it than me.